In the face of sudden and unexpected changes, collapsing regimes, or vanishing ways of life, we are often amazed by the great number of men and women, intimately linked to these changes, who forget a substantial part of their history and modify the meaning of their pasts. In the long course of human events, how many ideologies and beliefs have been erased? How many cities and languages have vanished, how many populations have been exterminated? How many existences have passed away, leaving behind only faded and indecipherable traces—or even no trace at all? With the disintegration of the patrimony of memories inherited by exponents of vanquished cultures or obsolete mentalities, entire worlds are at risk of becoming extinguished, unintelligible, or fragmentary. Professor Remo Bodei explores the questions of memory and forgetting, and examines why individuals and communities renounce or forget their pasts.